Alcohol is a substance that many people enjoy, and many people generally have a good time when alcohol is involved, but it can have some major negative effects on physical training and progression. While there are some potential benefits to drinking alcohol in moderation, excessive consumption can lead to a range of negative consequences that can impair physical performance and limit progress in training. People will often make room for alcohol within a diet, or neglect to even take into consideration how it might affect progress, but it really can have a negative effect for some people, especially if it is consumed frequently.
One of the most significant ways that alcohol is bad for progression when training physically, especially when training to look better, is that it can impair muscle growth and recovery. Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which can impair muscle function, but also lead to more muscle fatigue and cramping. Additionally, alcohol can interfere with the body's ability to absorb nutrients that are essential for muscle growth and recovery, such as protein, creatine, vitamins, etc. Alcohol can lead to slow recovery times and limit the effectiveness of training because of how it interferes with regular bodily function. Simply put, regular consumption of alcoholic drinks will slow down muscle repair, muscle growth, and positive physical changes significantly compared to those people putting in the same effort and not consuming alcohol.
Alcohol consumption can impair aerobic capacity considerably, which is a huge negative for endurance training. When you consume alcohol, it slows down the body's ability to produce energy, and if you drink regularly, it will lead to decreased performance during endurance training. Alcohol generally impairs the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels, which can lead to fatigue and decreased endurance during any physical activity.
Another way that alcohol is bad for progression when exercising is that it can impair coordination and balance. When you drink alcohol, it impairs your ability to coordinate movements and maintain balance, which can increase the risk of accidents and injuries during physical activity. If you are attempting to train the morning after consuming a lot of alcohol or in similar circumstances, this can massively limit physical activity and progression in training, and obviously any injuries that happen in these scenarios can lead to longer recovery times and decreased performance.
Overall, having the occasional drink can be fine for some but it is the potential to ‘overdo it’ that creates problems. It is important to remember that if you have goals in regards to your performance, or your physique, alcohol will undeniably slow down progress and get in the way of achieving the best results possible. Consuming high amounts of alcohol regularly will absolutely damage physical progression, take away from hard earned results, and potentially negatively affect mindset. Always try to stay aware of alcohol intake and take into consideration how it could affect you.